Governor’s statement following last night’s meeting of the Governing Council of the ECB

03/19/2020 / Press release

Recent days have seen the economic slowdown caused by the spread of coronavirus joined by profound uncertainty on the financial markets. The governments of individual countries and, in particular, collective international institutions have therefore been taking intensive action to deal with the uncertain situation. At last night’s meeting of the Governing Council of the ECB, we approved an additional package of measures to help households, businesses and governments.

The increased risks in connection with coronavirus have brought a considerable rise in volatility on the financial markets in recent days, which has been reflected in a plunge in global stock markets and increased credit risk on a range of financial instruments.

At the national level and within the framework of collective institutions, central banks and governments are adopting an ever-expanding package of measures to help society. They are ready with solutions for bridging liquidity difficulties for businesses and households.

At yesterday’s extraordinary meeting, members of the Governing Council reaffirmed their commitment to doing whatever it takes to help the citizens of the euro area in facing the current uncertain situation. We therefore approved an additional package of response measures to support families, businesses and governments.

Having added an envelope of additional net asset purchases of EUR 120 billion in the asset purchase programme (APP) last week, late last night we instituted the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) with an overall envelope of EUR 750 billion, equivalent to 6% of euro area GDP. The purchases in the new programme will be conducted until the end of this year, and will include all the asset categories eligible under the existing APP.

Alongside the monetary policy measures, we also approved a new package of measures within our supervisory powers over the banking system. The key objective of the measures is to coordinate the effects of the actions taken by governments and other national institutions, and to allow banks to more effectively address the problems caused by an inability to service debt among the hardest-hit segments of society.